Founded in 2014, Yacht Harbour has now gone through nearly 3 years of rapid growth, packed with milestones and interesting events. In this list are 11 things about Yacht Harbour that are not widely known, but we thought were interesting enough to share.
#1 Yacht Harbour started as an Instagram channel
Even though Yacht Harbour's initial plan was to build a web platform for a marketplace of yachts for sale, the company started an Instagram account in August 2014 to get some sort of traction, ahead of the launch of its website in December of that year.
At a time when no yachting media companies were on the platform, the strategy proved successful and saw Yacht Harbour get to 10,000 followers in under 4 months. This, in turn, proved instrumental to getting the first users to Yacht Harbour.
#2 We power instant results for a Top 5 search engine
Another little known fact about Yacht Harbour is that the company's index powers an instant result snippet for search engine, DuckDuckGo. One of the 5 available search settings on an iPhone, DuckDuckGo is a search engine built with privacy in mind.
Any user searching for a particular yacht on the platform, will see on top of search results an image of the yacht with it's main specifications, which DuckDuckGo displays using an API built by Yacht Harbour on top of its database for the search engine.
#3 News coverage was first meant as a content marketing play
Even though our audience is now spread evenly across its superyacht marketplace and its news section, Yacht Harbour's editorial coverage was started only in October 2015 to act as a content marketing vehicle for its search platform.
Despite these plans, news coverage rapidly evolved and grew to serve the purposes of a true media company, which Yacht Harbour has since become. Stories broken by our news department are now often used as sources by international media such as the BBC, CNBC and others.
#4 We built a chat bot to answer any yachting question
Developed in a wave of growing excitement over chat bots, Brook became the first chat bot in yachting that used a combination of machine learning, natural language recognition and big data to answer any question related to yacht.
Although Brook was since retired due to a lack of users, Yacht Harbour did manage to build a working version, answering over 80% of asked questions. Its original interface can still be seen here. When live it was even accessible from the Telegram messaging platform.
#5 Our content can be found on Forbes and Business Insider
As part of its content distribution strategy, Yacht Harbour struck deals with Business Insider to distribute part of its English-language content and to contribute stories to the French and Russian versions of Forbes.
With news stories around yachting and articles trying to open up the field to a more general audience, this content was read over 2 million times so far in 2017.
#6 We ran a crowdfunding campaign in our first year
Far from today's peak of attention around ICOs, Yacht Harbour ran a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 as an experiment, ahead of the launch of its charter marketplace to offer heavily discounted deals and lifetime advantages for participants.
Through the campaign, Yacht Harbour raised just under $3,000 from a series of contributors. The value of some the items offered then by Yacht Harbour has grown over 1,000x today.
#7 We get 10 million impressions of our content every month
Having rapidly grown from the 23 visitors Yacht Harbour on the day of it's launch, the company's combined channels now reach over 10 million impressions every month. This figure includes Yacht Harbour's website traffic, social media reach and audience on third-party platforms.
#8 There are sometimes easter eggs on Yacht Harbour
Sometimes overtaken by the holiday spirit, Yacht Harbour's homepage can sometimes change to adopt a special skin for limited times as seen above. So far, the company has dressed up its website for Halloween, Christmas and New Year's Eve but other events may soon be coming.
#9 One million minutes are spent watching Yacht Harbour's videos monthly
Playing an increasingly important role for any media company, videos have been a key to Yacht Harbour's success as well with over 800 days worth of videos being watched on our platform every month. The latest Black Pearl video alone reached over 3 million impressions on our network.
#10 Our Facebook page outranks its nearest competition 10 to 1
Owing much of its success to social media, Yacht Harbour has always tried to dominate the space in the superyacht sector and Facebook is currently the most reflective of this paradigm. Whereas Yacht Harbour gets 36,500 engagements on its page every week, the nearest competition currently sits at 3,300 engagements per week.
#11 It took us over 20,000 hours to build the Timeline platform
A major step forward in yacht search, Yacht Harbour's Timeline platform was launched in May 2017 after over 20,000 hours of research. The platform, compared to a Bloomberg terminal for yachting, lets its subscribers track the market in real time, discover the story behind any yacht and find the best deals on the market with big data.
Photos by Julien Hubert
In the spotlight throughout a long-running case around Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, the 91-meter Equanimity is now being auctioned for a nine-figure sum by Malaysia's government. Built by Oceanco, the superyacht was delivered with one of the largest spas ever seen onboard a yacht.1MDB was created in 2009 as a sovereign wealth fund with over $4 billion under management to invest in strategic projects. After a series of investments in energy and real estate, a controversy around the fund began as to whether funds had been misappropriated throughout this period by management and government officials.Later investigations led to asset seizures spearheaded by the US DoJ, amongst which was Equanimity. It was then claimed that her owner, financier Jho Low, had ordered the yacht using profits that were connected to 1MDB's real estate dealings and off-shore accounts totalling over $250 million for the yacht's purchase and upkeep.Financed also in part through a loan by Sotheby's financial against art works, Equanimity was delivered in 2014 and introduced at the Monaco Yacht Show later that year where she won the award of finest yacht. Amongst her main highlights was an extensive spa area that spanned a large part of her lower deck.Following developments in the 1MDB case, the DoJ moved to seize Equanimity in June 2017 as part of their effort to recoup an estimated $400 million in alleged profits from Low. The yacht was eventually seized in Indonesia at the request of Malaysian authorities. According to a spokesman for Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd, this was done in violation of Indonesian and American court rulings. Following the seizure, the yacht was transported to Malaysia where finance minister, Lim Guan Eng said an auction of the yacht was to take place. It is now understood at least nine figures were being sought for the yacht at the auction, which is expected to be completed by March 2019.Equanimity was, however, famous across the yachting community, well before being pushed into the limelight by this case, for its extensive spa area on the lower deck, plunge pools and highly customised interior. At 2,998 gross tons of interior volume, the yacht still sits as the 65th largest yacht in the world.The 91-meter's spa is akin to that of a megapolis' 5-star hotel. Incorporating plunge pools, massage areas, saunas, experiential showers, hammams, jacuzzis and a gym all designed with the most precious of materials, it directly connects to a beach club from which guests can swim out into the ocean.Equanimity's 5 decks are connected by a grand staircase coupled with a glass elevator. Accommodating up to 22 guests in 11 cabins, the yacht was the first one to be built to comply with the new Passenger Yacht Code. Carrying a crew of 31, the yacht can cruise for up to 5,000 nautical miles at a speed of 15 knots, with its top speed at 18.5 kn.Aft of its second deck, Equanimity features a large helipad, typically covered with lounging sofas and sun beds when not in use. Forward of the helipad is a 20sqm spa pool sitting in front of the entrance to the yacht's spacious main salon. Throughout the deck, guests are kept within the atmosphere of a luxurious, relaxing spa.Inside, across the yacht's lounges and cabins can be found a continuing theme of the sea rendered through a clever use of sculptures, ornaments and glass. Centred around a clear colour scheme with tall windows throughout, Equanimity's interior almost acts as an extension of the sea wherever the yacht cruises.Equanimity's staterooms, styled like a luxurious, modern hotel, are spread out into a master cabin with a study, which can be converted into a double cabin, a VVIP suite, 3 VIP cabins, as well as an additional 2 double and 2 twin cabins spread out throughout the yacht's main deck, giving good views to all guests.Fully-equipped, the 91-meter's gym can be used underway but is best enjoyed when at anchor, with a fold down platform that opens up onto the sea and lets guests exercise practically on the water. Equanimity also comes complete with two custom-designed, 10-meter Hodgdon tenders to ferry around her guests in style.Malaysia's auction will see qualified buyers making sealed bids for the yacht in view of a sale that is set to complete by March 2019. Whilst the exact asking price is for the moment unknown, officials are looking for a 9 figure number according to various press reports. This becomes the 2nd high profile yacht auctioned off this year, following the 95-meter Oceanco, Indian Empress, which was sold earlier this year for €35 million during an auction in Malta.
December 9, 2018
Equanimity, the 91-meter superyacht caught up in legal pursuits led by the United States' Department of Justice over the 1MDB fund, is now going to be auctioned off for a nine figure sum in March 2019. This follows the yacht being seized earlier in 2018.The sale of the yacht, which is being handled by Burgess on behalf of the Malaysian government, is happening at the request of the Sheriff of the Admiralty Court of Kuala Lumpur. According to statements made by government officials, interest in purchasing the yacht has already been recorded.This development comes as part of a long saga that started with the US DoJ moving to seize Equanimity back in June 2017. This was being done as part of an effort to recover $1.7 billion that were allegedly misappropriated from the 1Malaysia Berhad Fund according to the DoJ. Of this figure, $400 million were being sought from Jho low, a Malaysian businessman who took delivery of Equanimity in 2014. The yacht cost him over $250 million according to court fillings, including its upkeep.After eventually being seized by Indonesian authorities, the yacht was moved to Malaysia in view of a public auction for the yacht that was to take place according to Malaysia's finance minister, Lim Guan Eng. A spokesman for Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd, the yacht's owner, then commented that this move was done in violation of Indonesian and American court rulings.Launched in 2014, Equanimity was built by Oceanco in the Netherlands and debuted at the Monaco Yacht Show, later that year. Amongst her main amenities area a large spa area spread throughout the yacht's aft.
December 7, 2018
Hakvoort, the Dutch-based shipyard, has confirmed the launch of its largest project to date, the 63.72-meter Scout. Designed by H2 Yacht Design, the yacht is expected to be delivered to her owners in Spring 2019. She was previously known as Project Brio.Launched on December 1st, the yacht started construction under a different ownership, changing owners early on and shifting the project to the steel and aluminium explorer that it is today. "The owner’s brief called for a rugged explorer style yacht intended to look like a conversion from a commercial vessel." commented H2's Jonny Horsfield. "We placed the tenders on the bow, leaving them exposed to add to the utilitarian aesthetic. There is a helideck and a forward observation lounge in addition to an expansive sun deck."Scout features 4 guest cabins on the main deck as well as an owner's deck in addition to 2 staff cabins on the lower deck. Sold by Fraser Yachts to her current owner, Scout will become the largest yacht built by Hakvoort, topping its 61-meter Just J's delivered in 2016.The owner's previous yacht was a 45-meter RMK Marine also named Scout. Delivered in 2012, she was sold asking $15.9 million and has since been renamed Calliope.Powered by twin CAT engines, Scout will cruise at 12.5 knots and reach a top speed of 14.8kn. Her maximum range will be at 4,800 nautical miles once delivered, coupled with an ice-class hull.
December 7, 2018
Promise, the 51-meter yacht launched earlier this year, has now been delivered according to the Dutch shipyard. First yacht built by Feadship to be ice-classed, the 51-meter is now being shipped to the US according to the yard.Penned by Studio De Voogt with an interior by Bannenberg and Rowell, Promise was created as the first Feadship to fit ice-class notations, hinting that the yacht will cruise in polar regions for some portion of time. Powered by twin Caterpillar engines, she will have a top speed of 14.5 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles.Spread across a large beam of 10.8-meters, the 51-meter custom built yacht has been shrouded in secrecy throughout her build. Notable features from the outside are her large helipad aft o the upper deck, as well as tall windows in the main lounges suggesting panoramic views.Photos via Feadship
December 7, 2018
Maritime union Nautilus has confirmed that near $1 million in overdue salaries were paid to the crew of Indian Empress, now known as Neom. This follows the 95-meter yacht being abandoned in Malta in 2017 and recently sold at an auction for €35 million.The yacht's previous owner, Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya, left the yacht in Malta in September 2017 amidst controversy over his Kingfisher Airlines and debts of over $1 billion. Known for his former Formula One team, Force India, as well as his United Spirits alcohol distributor in India, which he sold in 2014, Mallya was also active in Indian politics until 2016.After crew members of Mallya's Indian Empress, as well as several other creditors, the largest of which was Melita Power Diesel with an outstanding payment of over €650,000, demanded the yacht be sold to cover expenses, it was put up for auction in Malta. After several failed attempts, the yacht was sold for €35 million and renamed Neom.The latest developments sees the maritime union securing a payout for crew members, which averages at $20,745 per crew members, of which there were more than 40 reportedly unpaid since September 2017.Built in 2000 by Oceanco in the Netherlands as Al Mirqab, the 95-meter yacht remains one of the most iconic on the water. Refitted in 2006 and renamed to Indian Empress, the yacht was made available for charter throughout the past 10 years from €650,000 per week. She is now known as Neom.
December 7, 2018